Vendors Launch Wireless Initatives - InformationWeek

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Vendors Launch Wireless Initatives

The booming wireless marketplace continues to attract a lot of attention as major technology companies try to nail down industry standards and others attempt to muscle their way into the industry.

IBM, Lotus Development, Motorola, Nokia, Palm, Psion, and Starfish Software said today they will collaborate to create SyncML Initiative, a forum to establish an industry standard for data synchronization among wireless and wired computing devices. "Our goal is to have one universal technology to move any kind of data to any kind of device, similar to the technology created for different E-mail clients," says Frank Dawson, a consulting engineer at Lotus. The first version of the technology, which will be created with the Extensible Markup Language, is planned for late this year.

One analyst, noting the absence of Microsoft, AvanteGo, Puma, Extended Systems, and other wireless companies from the lineup, says the technology will not attract customers unless other major players join the forum. "This is a great initiative, the most ambitious ever launched in this space. But for it to really succeed as the standard you need participation from all the significant players in this space," says Naqi Jaffery, a mobile communications analyst at Dataquest.

In related news, Oracle joined the wireless race Tuesday with the creation of OracleMobile.com, a spin-off company that offers technology to connect wireless and wired phones to the Internet. The software application redesigns Internet content that was formatted for a PC screen into a format for display on the smaller screens used by phones. OracleMobile.com plans to sell the technology to mobile carriers and provide the hosting services. "We have an agreement with Motorola to offer voice-enabled Internet access with this software in the future," chairman and CEO Larry Ellison said at press event in New York City. Additionally, OracleMobile.com announced partnerships to host and build wireless versions of several major consumer Web sites, such as E-Trade and Amazon.com.

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